Bashakill Wetlands

The bass notes of the bullfrogs set the rhythm section of the wildlife orchestra that crescendos on warm nights. The katydids and peepers repeat a swelling chorus that echoes off the Shawangunk ridge. Though far from the city, the sounds of summer at the Bashakill wetlands rival New York’s busy streets.

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Storm King Mountain & Butter Hill

Route 9W winds its way through the hills of the Hudson Highlands. It follows the path of the Hudson River as it cuts through the sprawling upstate forests. The parking area for Storm King Mountain is directly off 9W. You’ll descend a steep mountain slope into the bend of a glacial valley. When the road begins to ascend you’ll notice the parking area on your right.

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Denton Falls & Mullet Falls

The woods in the Neversink Unique area are strangely quiet and still. What sounds like light rain on a cloudless day is actually the sound of leaves and needles dropping from the trees, landing softly on the forest floor. Because of the abundance of pine trees, much the land here seems less dense than other hikes, without the leafy branches blocking out the sun.

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Slide Mountain

Of course New York is beautiful in the fall. You can wander along a wooded path in Central Park with a hot coffee, or lay out on the Great Lawn enjoying the warm midday sun. However, if you are looking for a true outdoor autumn experience, nothing beats a hike in the Catskills. While the City is still holding on to the final fleeting days of summer, autumn has already made a home in the mountains and valleys of upstate.

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Bear Hill Preserve

I like to find a comfortable spot and just soak-in my surroundings. The only sounds from the top are the faint hum of rustling leaves and a rooster’s call from a farm on the valley floor. With only a few small breaks in the canopy, the land looks carpeted in green as far as you can see. I can watch as a thunderstorm moves left to right across the valley below.

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Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain is one of the closest and most easily accessible trails for those living in the New York City area. Sitting only forty miles north of NYC, the state park provides a convenient escape, perfect for a day trip. Even though it may be close to the city, don’t expect this hike to be anything like the Big Apple. Bear Mountain is a rugged landscape with challenging hikes, quaint mountain lakes, and even hosts a portion of the famed Appalachian Trail.

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Overlook Mountain

Walking through the ruins is like walking through a snapshot of earlier life in the Catskills. A life of luxury which had been masking the underlying hardships. You can drift through the Great Room, and down the stairs into what remains of the hotel’s lower levels. You can stare out into the quiet forest and imagine what life had been like for the guests of the long gone resort. The ruins can feel solemn and even sad at times, as they slowly collapse on the mountain top, but after years of being forgotten, there is a new sense of life in the area

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Sam’s Point & the Ice Caves

On windy days, the view from Sam’s Point can literally take your breath away. The intense panoramic view allows you to see all the way from the Catskills to High Point, New Jersey. Though similar to the view from Bear Hill, located slightly further down the ridge, Sam’s Point has its own unique wonder.  The light-colored crags stand like pillars holding up the mountain.  From the top, your views seems to extend endlessly towards the horizon. 

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